Tearing Down Buildings For Wildlife

Restoration of Long Beach West Begins

Slideshow
<< Previous
0 of 1 Images
Next >>
One of the abandoned cottages slated for demolition.
Photo:(Provided by USFW) Dept of the Interior Recovery Investments
Tighe and Bond representatives recently visited Long Beach West to tag hazardous materials.
Photo:(Provided by USFW) Dept of the Interior Recovery Investments
The dilapidated buildings will be replaced by beach and dune habitat.
Photo:(Provided by USFW) Dept of the Interior Recovery Investments
The abandoned cottages are both unsightly and unsafe.
Photo:(Provided by USFW) Dept of the Interior Recovery Investments
An aerial view of the project site and existing national wildlife refuge lands adjacent to Long Beach West.
Photo:(Provided by USFW) Dept of the Interior Recovery Investments
Tearing Down Buildings For Wildlife
Download Audio
Audio Playlist
Tearing Down Buildings For Wildlife
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began the restoration today of one of the last undeveloped barrier beaches in Connecticut, part of a peninsula on Long Island Sound. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
 
Long Beach in Stratford was once a thriving summer community with dozens of beach cottages. But ever since the bridge to the mainland burned down in 1996, the only way out there is a long trek on foot or by boat—so the cottages have been abandoned. After the people left, the number of nesting birds grew including osprey, least terns and piping plover, a federally-threatened species. The beach includes sand dunes, tidal wetlands and sand flats—all key habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Sharon Marino, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says 38 cottages, 27 outbuildings and four docks will be removed.
 
“The goal is go in, take these abandoned structures out, really restore this system back to the way it was prior to these buildings being out there. We don’t have a lot of these opportunities anymore to actually reclaim developed areas and bring it back to wildlife habitat.”
 
The funding includes more than $900,000 in federal stimulus funds and $50,000  from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The Town of Stratford, Audubon Connecticut and Trust for Public Land are partnering with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the project. 
 
For WNPR, I’m Nancy Cohen.